Archive for January 15, 2009

Outlaw Chickens Reprieved!

Here’s to saying “No!” to nosy nanny neighbors — today the Minneapolis StarTribune reported:

The outlaw chickens of Burnsville likely will become legal citizens in short order, thanks to 11-year-old Stefan Remund, who took on City Hall in a battle to keep his small brood.

The City Council agreed during a work session Tuesday to amend an animal ordinance so people may own up to four chickens if their backyard coops meet specifications and other conditions are met. That means Stefan will be able to keep raising his Plymouth Barred Rocks named Sha Kota, Rachel, Tilly and a Buff Orpington called Miss Marilyn Monroe.


A neighbor had complained about the boy’s seven chickens, prompting an animal control officer to visit the Remund home in September. At a council meeting in October, Stefan pleaded with the council and soon became a chicken-owning celebrity.

Wow!  City government taking a common-sense approach to pet animal ownership – how did the folks at Peta miss this?  ( …and how can we keep them out of other animal-related legislation?)

Our thanks to young Stefan and his brother Wesley, who took on City Hall — and won.  Our future seems a little brighter when young activitists fight for common sense instead of political correctness.


January 15, 2009 at 7:19 pm 2 comments

Montana Update With Video

From the Billings Gazette:

A representative from the National English Shepherd Rescue said Tuesday that officials and volunteers working with dogs seized from a Ballantine woman by Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office in December are doing a good job but that much work remains.

Heather Houlahan, the NESR’s behavior and training coordinator, arrived Monday in Billings to assist in the rehabilitation, training and care of the nearly 200 dogs taken from Linda Kapsa’s Shady Lane Kennels.


Houlahan, who works as a dog trainer in Pennsylvania, said another NESR member crunched some numbers and determined that the dogs seized in the raids may represent as much as 5 percent of the world population of English shepherds.

She said the largest operation the NESR had seen previously was a similar situation in the early 2000s, in which about 15 dogs were seized. The group has “been aware of Ms. Kapsa for a long time,” she said, and has been communicating with the county since the December raids, but even it was surprised at the number of dogs on the property.

“We thought 30 to 40 would be the worst-case scenario,” Houlahan said. “The numbers just floored us. There’s never been this many (English shepherds) in one place, ever.”


Officials said Tuesday that a few dogs may still be on Kapsa’s property.

“We knew the day of the seizure that we had a 10-hour warrant,” said Catherine Schaeffer, manager of the temporary shelter. “We knew there were still dogs running free.”

John Flemming, animal control officer for the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, said about three dogs weren’t collected but that there may have been a few more hiding on the property. The remaining dogs could not be corralled within the warrant’s time allocation.

CLICK HERE for accompanying video clip.

January 15, 2009 at 4:28 am Leave a comment

Dogly Dioramas

With ambient temps in the double digits below zero and the windchill approaching 40 below, it’s a really good night to stay inside and goof around on my computer.  Thanks to Jessica over at Bioephemera who posted a link to TiltShiftMaker, a nifty website that lets you upload photos and transform them to tilt shift style miniatures, I had something new to play with.  According to the folks at TiltShiftMaker:

Tilt-shift style miniature photos are simply photos of real life scenes that are made to look like miniature scale models.

This is done using either a special camera lens (one with tilt capability), or with software, instead of a special lens. These photos are sometimes called “fake” miniatures, because they are pictures of real-life scenes.

They look like dioramas made by skilled model makers.








January 15, 2009 at 4:10 am Leave a comment

Nine Below Zero

…and it’s going to get a lot colder before morning

January 15, 2009 at 1:33 am Leave a comment

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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January 2009